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Nimh to lipo conversion for vintage foam plane

Old 10-19-2022, 09:21 PM
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PlaneCrasher66
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Default Nimh to lipo conversion for vintage foam plane

Hi all. This is my first post. I recently acquired an old F/A-18E made by interactive toy ConceptsAir Rage decal is on the controller.My problem is it did not come with a battery.on the underside of the wing it has the battery specs. I have been looking foe a NiMH replacement, but no luck so far. So i am wondering if i can use a lipo instead?4.8V (DC)9.6W Battery: 1X4.8V NiMH rechargeable battery. This is what is on the sticker. The plug on the plane is a mini male tamiya.thanks in advance! I hooked up my aerobird NiMH battery just to test...works great. Battery is too big for f18.Ok, so I made a connector to use to test a 3.6v 500mh lipo. Turn on plane and prop runs full bore!so apparently can only use NiMH? Idk..why would it do that?So I ordered a 4.8v 1500mah NiMH battery. I'll just have to change connector or make another dongle. Not sure how to attach it to the plane as it is bigger than the slot.any advice would be great
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Old 10-20-2022, 02:01 PM
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Took a while to find out exactly what the Concept Toy F/A 18 actually was!
A single cell LiPo is not a direct equivalent to a 4.8 NiMh. However a LiPo does not suffer the same voltage drop as NiHh when under load so it can be effective as a LiPo of the same capacity will be quite a bit lighter..
The down side is a LiPo can only be charged using a LiPo charger. Use any other charger will likely wreck the battery and can cause a fire. A LiPo charger must switch off automatically when the cell voltage reaches 4.20V..
Much better to use the recommended size 4.8 V NiMh battery.
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Old 10-20-2022, 07:32 PM
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You May have to find the correct size NiMH batteries on the web and then solder them into a pack.
NIMH batteries are considered 1.2 volts per cell so it will require 4 batteries to make your pack, the ones with the solder tabs are far easier to build into a pack. Use a tiny drop of tinners fluid (Soldering acid) between the tabs to make it much easier to solder. Wipe off any acid that may have dripped down the battery. Solder positive to negative, 3 times between the batteries, and then solder the required leads to the end.

I have found some of the toy-level planes don't have speed controls, when the plane slows down, LAND IT.

Good luck and Welcome to Wattflyer
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Old 10-20-2022, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by PlaneCrasher66 View Post
Hi all. This is my first post. I recently acquired an old F/A-18E made by interactive toy ConceptsAir Rage decal is on the controller.My problem is it did not come with a battery.on the underside of the wing it has the battery specs. I have been looking foe a NiMH replacement, but no luck so far. So i am wondering if i can use a lipo instead?4.8V (DC)9.6W Battery: 1X4.8V NiMH rechargeable battery. This is what is on the sticker. The plug on the plane is a mini male tamiya.thanks in advance! I hooked up my aerobird NiMH battery just to test...works great. Battery is too big for f18.Ok, so I made a connector to use to test a 3.6v 500mh lipo. Turn on plane and prop runs full bore!so apparently can only use NiMH? Idk..why would it do that?So I ordered a 4.8v 1500mah NiMH battery. I'll just have to change connector or make another dongle. Not sure how to attach it to the plane as it is bigger than the slot.any advice would be great
oh thank you for your replies. i had d and still having hard time finding info. I should receive the battery tomorrow, not sure how and where I will mount it, but I'll give it a whirl! It's a 4 cell flat NiMH.
oh do you see a problem in splicing in the correct connector?
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Old 10-20-2022, 10:00 PM
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PlaneCrasher66
Will your new battery have a connector already on it?
What ever you do you will have to solder any joints to ensure they can carry the amps adequately.
Is it he same capacity (i.e. the weight) as the original one?
If it does it might be better to cut off the original plane connector and solder on a new matching connector onto the plane's wires.
Is the new battery the same capacity (mAh) and thus the weight as the original? .
The battery will be heavy compared to the rest of the plane so it is vital it is positioned in exactly the right place for the plane to stand much chance of flying satisfactorily or even at all.
Is there any indication where it should be placed or any documentation that indicates where the plane must balance?. .
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Old 10-21-2022, 12:26 AM
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Default Battery

I cannot find anything on the exact model. So I'm pretty much winging it. I wish I could post pics for you to see.
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Old 10-21-2022, 03:59 AM
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You could measure the compartment the battery is supposed to fit in, and that will give us an idea about the size of the cells and the shape of the pack.
Some packs are 4 side by side, and others are 2 wide and 2 high.
Your location says PNW so I am guessing Washington?
If I knew these sizes I may be able to find the battery cells and solder a pack for you.
Then mail it to you.
You should be close to being able to post a picture, I forget how many posts you need before you can.
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Old 10-23-2022, 03:14 AM
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Default The battery

Hi. I got the battery today, but I think the side by side 4 1.2v won't work. I think the batteries were positioned the long way 2 across might fit. The compartment is 1.25" deep x 3 1/8" (minus the mini tamiya plug)long x 1/2" across.
if you would make me one, or two, that woukd be awesome!
thanks!
ps. The volts are the same, 4.8v but the mah is 1600. The sticker on the wing says 9.6w

Last edited by PlaneCrasher66; 10-23-2022 at 03:17 AM. Reason: More info
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